South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Friday 16 July 2021

We’ve got the latest news stories that have kept South Africans hooked on the headlines throughout the country on Friday 16 July 2021.

After the storm comes the uneasy calm, and a chance for the authorities to start rounding up those who masterminded the bloody riots and looting over the past week. More than 1000 arrests have been made so far, but the one that mattered most was that of an alleged riot ringleader who was handcuffed on Thursday 15 July. He is said to be one of the “dirty dozen” instigators who are blamed for the unrest. The net is closing in on those responsible for the carnage that has seen millions of rands of damage to property and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, residents of KZN and Gauteng have come out in their droves to clean up the mess left by the looters in a show of unity that was sadly missing over the past week. However, there have been reports of some communities discriminating against people based on race and not allowing certain individuals into their areas.

TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Friday 16 July

Breakthrough: Top riot ringleader – one of ‘dirty dozen’ – ARRESTED

Could the tables slowly be turning? After days of upheaval in KZN and Gauteng, the efforts of SAPS and SANDF seem to be paying off: Hundreds of arrests have been made, and although violent outbursts are still emerging in this part of South Africa, one collar stands out above the rest – and an alleged riot ringleader has been apprehended.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon. The purported instigator, who forms part of a ‘dirty dozen’ accused of stoking up tensions in SA to lead a political insurrection, was detained earlier today. Sadly, however, the death toll from looting over the past 24 hours has shot-up.

“One of the 12 alleged ringleaders of the riots has been arrested. The surveillance on the other 11 has been increased. Meanwhile, an additional 139 people were arrested last night. That means 725 arrests have been made in Gauteng alone. In total, across all of SA, 117 people have died as a result of looting and violence.” | Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

‘There was a plot to remove our govt’ – ANC confirm insurrection claims

There you have it. Deputy Minister for the State Security Agency, Zizi Kodwa, has told the media that the recent unrest across South Africa has been inspired by a genuine insurrection attempt – which was allegedly in the works way before former president and ex-ANC leader Jacob Zuma got himself sent to jail.

Kodwa said that there was a ‘big plot’ to topple the government, by shutting down major ports and food distribution lines. Those behind the riots have been largely successful, bringing the country to its knees this week. However, the prominent ANC representative believes that the masterminds of this chaos have also collaborated with ‘right-wing forces’.

KZN riots: Calls for Zikalala head mount as Premier ‘stands in shadows’

With violent riots having brought KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to its knees over the past week, calls are mounting for the province’s Premier, Sihle Zikalala, to step down. These demands are led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KZN, who say that Zikalala has failed to handle the situation and bring an end to widespread looting and destruction of essential infrastructure. 

The DA said on Thursday that Zikalala should “hang his head in shame”, accusing the Premier of passively “watching on” as the riots led to looting, destruction and death during one of democratic South Africa’s most turbulent periods.

Level 4: Calls mount for government to allow online alcohol sales and deliveries

While alcohol has been completely banned under adjusted Level 4 lockdown, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer has called on the national government to make some allowances for the industry. 

On Thursday 15 July, Meyer released a statement saying that this would protect the lives and livelihoods of those within the sector. 

Meyer said given the current pandemic and the subsequent Level 4 restrictions, we have to consider innovative ways to protect lives and livelihoods within the alcohol sector. With that being said, he asked that alcohol, including wine, be allowed to be sold online and then delivered to customers. 

Outrage after library hires ‘Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey’ for children’s reading event

Redbridge Libraries issued an apology after an actor commissioned for an event that was meant to encourage children to read turned up to Goodmayes Library in east London in an inappropriate costume.

Footage of the trio of actors belonging to the Mandiga Arts Group at the Redbridge Libraries Summer Reading Challenge event surfaced on social media and the public were quite unimpressed with the actor wearing a bare bum monkey suit with a fake penis.

The library group issued an apology for the incident via social media and promised that it “will never happen again,” according to the Evening Standard.

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